Why I Am Running

I am running for Congress based off of the belief in the long standing American tradition, that if you think you can represent your neighbors better than the person currently doing the job, then you have an obligation to run against them!

I am running for Congress based off of the The Founding Fathers’ idea that the United States House of Representatives is a place for the farmer, the doctor, the lawyer- the person who thinks he or she can represent the people and home district well, with honesty and integrity in Washington D.C. for a few years, and is willing to leave their job to go and answer their nation’s call to public service.

I am running for Congress based off of the idea that running for public office shouldn’t be a springboard for your next big political gig; but rather should be inspired by the desire for public service.

I am running for Congress, based off of the idea that we should have someone from INSIDE THE DISTRICT, NOT OUTSIDE THE DISTRICT,REPRESENTING US — because it goes to our DIGNITY —- that we should have ONE OF US REPRESENTING US.

I am running for Congress based off of the idea that not all young people in this country are spoken for by AOC and that my generation should have an alternative option to voice the issues and problems that affect us.

This run is not about pride, it is not about ego, it is about you! My run for Congress is about putting country first, about putting America first, about putting YOU first!

My Story

My grandfather Mauro came to this country from Italy at the age of 27, putting his future career as a medical doctor aside, in pursuit of the American dream. Having studied medicine, but not speaking a word of English, he took a job at a financial firm in the city sifting mail in the mail room. With hard work and determination, he worked his way out of the mail room; and he eventually worked his way up to become one of the firm’s senior Vice Presidents.

My other grandfather, Mario Caldarera, born to Sicilian immigrants, left his home in Brooklyn at the age of 17 to join the United States Navy and served our country in World War II.

My father, a 9/11 first responder and the first person in his family to go to college, became an NYPD officer. He worked his way up to become an NYPD Police Lieutenant.

As the first Caldarera to attend law school, I worked my way through school and took my first job in public service to be an Assistant District Attorney, where I had the honor of representing the people of the state of New York.

In addition to sharing the belief in the tradition of marriage and a great love for each other, my parents Joe and Denise, also shared this belief, which they instilled in their children, my sister Christina and myself:

That in the United States of America, if you’re willing to work hard enough for it, anything is possible.

I was told by my many friends, colleagues, and acquaintances that I shouldn’t leave my job to run for Congress. People told me that I should NOT run for office yet, that it was a risk not worth taking.

My response simply is :

If not me, who?
If not now, when?

Should I wait until more of my friends die from the opioid epidemic?

Should I wait until our infrastructure deteriorates to the point where the Staten Island Ferry doesn’t even run anymore?

Should I wait until the district becomes so unlivable that all of my friends and family move away?


Republican Staten Islanders and Brooklynites should not have to settle for a candidate who is mediocre.

Republicans should not have to settle for a candidate who has never supported the President of the US and never will!

Staten Islander and Brooklyn Republicans should not have the political elite in Washington telling them who the candidate to best represent them is and what their values should be. That decision should be left up to you.

My friends, we deserve more than a politician who doesn’t make decisions based off of whichever way the political wind is blowing.

We deserve a representative who makes decisions based off of morality, integrity, and doing the right thing.

As an Assistant DA, I took an oath to seek Justice. Seeking Justice means not trying to win, not trying to please your boss, it means seeking to do the right thing.

Like the decisions I made at the DA’s office, my decisions down in Washington will be based off of trying to do the right thing.

Not the right thing for myself or for my own career, but the right thing for YOU!

Until we can drive along Hylan Boulevard without having to worry about our cars blowing a tire because of potholes the size of craters.

Until we can figure out why our children have autism at rates higher than most other parts of the United States.

Until we can send our kids off to laugh and play in the park without having to worry about them becoming addicted to opioids.

I will be loyal to you. Fighting for you, down in Washington D.C.

We’ve seen it time and again in American history: When we remove the burdens of over-regulation and allow Americans to spend and invest more of their own money, we unleash their potential to create prosperity and opportunity for everybody — especially those struggling to make ends meet. We’ve got to take a more realistic approach to spending in this country. That starts with taking a hard look at welfare programs that encourage dependency – and simply don’t work. We need to act quickly on deficit reduction — we can’t keep kicking the can down the road on tough budget questions.


I refuse to subscribe to the theory that improving transportation on Staten Island and South Brooklyn is an insurmountable task. I will not accept that.

I refuse to accept the fact that Gateway Park, where I used to play baseball as a boy, cannot be fully reopened after ten years.

I refuse to accept the fact that our President, who fights for prosperity for all is going to be impeached just because the liberals can’t beat him at the polls.

I refuse to accept the fact that as a society we should continue to abdicate law and order.

I refuse to accept the fact that our police officers have to continue living in a climate of total disrespect.

I refuse to accept the fact that we can’t have a veteran’s cemetery on Staten Island because Federal Law prohibits us from doing so.

I refuse to accept the idea that nothing can be done about cripplingly college debt and enormously high interest on student loans.

I refuse to accept that there is nothing we can do about AOC and the young progressive wave in Washington.

I refuse to accept that we cannot send a young Republican from New York City down to Washington to put up a fight.

I refuse to accept that all young people vote Democrat.

I refused to accept that fact that a Republican cannot come out and fully support the President of the United States and his agenda because he will be indicted as a racist.

I refuse to accept the fact that the Republican nominee for Congress in New York’s 11th District can be allowed to be someone who expressed voter’s remorse about voting for the President, someone who is pro sanctuary city, someone who is anti-border wall, someone who can’t make up their mind as whether they are pro-life or pro-choice, someone who misses 77% of their budget hearing meetings when representing us in Albany.

We need to nominate someone who can land a punch against the establishment, someone who can land a punch against the liberal agenda, and someone who the people can feel confident is not only not going to be looking to impeach the President of the United States but someone who fully supports the President and his America first agenda and fighting for the rights and prosperity of all American citizens, black and white, young and old, rich and poor.

My friends, our time is now. I ask you to rise up with me, to join me, hand in hand, side by side, as we go door to door over these next few months. I ask you to spread our message across Staten Island and South Brooklyn – that we don’t have to settle and that we CAN do better!!

As your Congressman I will not be loyal to Washington endorsements, I will not be loyal to politicians who are owed favors.

I will be loyal to YOU.

The cops, the firefighters, the sanitation workers.

The teachers, the nurses, the paramedics, the commuters, and the small business owners.

The bus drivers, the train operators, and the city employees.

The hardworking men and women who don’t take handouts from anybody.

The hardworking men and women who raise your children trying to teach them the right from the wrong.

The hardworking men and women who believe in God, Country, and Family values.

I embrace my obligation to run for office, to represent us and our values in Washington – We deserve one of us – I am one of us.

As one of us, I embrace our belief in the American Dream that if you are willing to work hard in this country anything is possible.

May God Bless all of you, May God Bless Staten Island and South Brooklyn, and may God Bless the United States of America.

– Joseph Caldarera

Republican Candidate for New York’s 11 District
Republican Primary: June 23, 2020